Right and Wrong

Submitted into Contest #126 in response to: Write about a character reflecting on the previous year.... view prompt


Contemporary Fiction Sad

This story contains themes or mentions of sexual violence.

It isn’t right, sometimes, how the righteous get punished and the wicked just walk away. Who would have thought I’d be here, now, and that bastard would be walking free? Not me. Never in a million years would I have guessed that I'd be here right now. That ball’s gonna drop this year like a bomb and I’ll still be here, waiting out my time.

Back about last March, he walked in all shining like colored glass, glittering in the bar’s dim lights, flashing his cash. He bought me a drink or two, sure, I didn’t think nothing of it. Someone flush like that? Sure thing, he could buy me a drink or three. And when he invited me for a walk outside, why, I had no reason not to go. A breath of cold air after the liquored-up heat of the bar was just the thing to clear my head. I didn't think anything of it.

The press of his teeth against mine and the poking bricks in my backside were just spice, you know? Life’s just one day after another, step by step and sometimes you gotta change it up, give it some zing. Dance a little. There’s no crime in spicing it up. The air was cold, his hands were warm, I didn’t mind. It was all right.

But when he wanted to smash me up against the wall, hike my skirt up and do it right there like a hooker, I said no. No, not here, not like that, I said, pushing him away, thinking that would be that. Instead, we went to his car, me stumbling in those damn spiky shoes, him saying c’mon baby, it's warm in my car. It's right over here.

I just wanted to relax a bit in that nice leather seat, but I didn’t get to. No ma’am, he had some plans, that man, even though I didn’t but what could I do by then? You don't fight it. Your body knows what to do. It was over, quick-like, thank God. After he was done, he hauled me up and took me back to the bar. Those goddamn shoes were trying to kill me and I was too busy to think much of it. I had no reason to think much of it, you know? I was just trying not to fall. The world was going one direction and I was going another. I sure did like that soft leather seat, though.

So, there I was, wasted, trying to figure out if I should stay at the bar or just go home. I may have been crying a little, I don’t know. Old Joe says I was, and he would remember better than me. He asked me if I was all right and I said yes and shook my head no. I must’ve looked terrible with my makeup down my cheeks. He got some towels for me so I could clean myself up. He made me a coffee, like black tar it was. Must’ve been made the Saturday before. Old Joe, his eyes bright like a crow, he patted my back and said drink up, your coffee’s getting cold.

Well, I’d been a fool, that was for sure and got what came of that. I sat and drank that bitter, black coffee. I’m here to tell you true, never let a stranger take you walking out back, nothing good ever comes of it. I wanted a little heat and I got burned. Goes to show you. And that bastard just drove away.

I made it home and I made it to work the next day – I work at Lou’s Lunch Stop, it's a job. I guess I was all right, by then. Life was going to go on whether I went with it or not, right? Might as well walk with your head up than get dragged on your knees. There were sandwiches to make and bills to pay.

            I stayed away from Joe’s for a while anyway. Didn’t feel like seeing the run-down old place, truth be told. Didn’t feel sociable. 

Spring came and I was feeling pretty good, just working, going to the grocery store and laundromat and things like that, and hanging with my neighbor Lilah. She was always good for a laugh. We put flowers in our windows and dreamed of when the apartment pool would be fixed, someday, maybe. She said I was looking good, like I was happy or something. I laughed and thought it might be because I wasn't going to Joe's.

            Sometimes I visited my mama. She’d make me dinner and everything.        

Summer was sneaking up, and I was at Mama’s. We were sitting down to a Sunday pot roast, like we were celebrating. I asked my mama why things were so special, and she said every day that you visit is special, didn’t you know that baby girl? I started bawling like a little kid, right there in the kitchen. The smell of the meat was making me feel a little sick and I was tired after all day at work, too. But mostly I missed being a little girl and having my mama take care of me. She just held me and rocked me and said things like there, there, baby girl, it’ll be all right. She always said the same thing, and things would turn out; even though they weren’t always good, they were all right.

So here I am waiting out my time right here in this bed. They’ve got my curtain drawn so no one can see how naked I am underneath this cold, ugly gown. There’s a lady two beds down moaning and crying something awful and it’s scaring me to death. I’m young and healthy, the doctor says, I’ll be fine. My belly squeezes like crazy every few minutes, getting ready to push this baby out but mama says don't fight it, my body knows what it’s got to do, just listen to the doctor and try and relax. That ball’s gonna drop tonight like always and everything is going to be all right, maybe not so good, but all right.

December 28, 2021 18:16

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Zelda C. Thorne
15:46 Jan 25, 2022

Very raw emotions in this one. Sickeningly accurate portrayal too. Good writing.


Brenda W
20:37 Feb 02, 2022

I was amazed at how dark it was. Didn't set out to write that, that's for sure!


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Jeanette Harris
00:42 Jan 03, 2022

Wow she meet some nasty man. how evil he raped her


Brenda W
03:23 Jan 08, 2022

Yes, he was pretty awful


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